Superstar takes the spotlight: Fiasco’s impending performance raises students’ expectations

By Megan Blauvelt

29-year-old Lupe Fiasco has won many awards during his short yet successful career, including a Grammy for “Best Urban/Alternative Performance” for his single “Daydreamin’” in 2008.


Going to concerts is a luxury for those who don’t attend them often, but others who see famous stars frequently – not so much.  Having an on-campus concert featuring any artist can be fulfilling or a disappointing, depending on who the artist is.

Rider University has chosen rapper Lupe Fiasco of Chicago to perform on Nov. 18. The show has already sold out on the Lawrenceville campus. Fiasco is expected to perform songs from his latest album Lasers, which was released in March.

Mainstream hip-hop listeners are probably familiar with Fiasco’s smash hit “The Show Goes On” and may even remember his other hit singles “Superstar” and “Daydreamin’” from his past albums.  However, there’s much more to this artist than what we hear on the radio.

Like many other performers, Lupe Fiasco is only a stage name for his real name, Wasalu Muhammad Jaco. He was not originally a fan of hip-hop because of its crudeness and actually preferred jazz music. He was part of the Spice 1 and Ice Cube inspired band Da Pak and released one single with Epic Records before the band split.

Fiasco then met Jay-Z, who was in charge of Def Jam Records and helped get Fiasco signed with record company Atlantic Records. Jay-Z complimented Fiasco, stating that he was a “breath of fresh air” and reminded Jay-Z of himself as a young new artist.

Lasers is Fiasco’s third album, from which he has released two tracks as singles: “The Show Goes On” and “Never Forget You.”  His album includes songs that express deep-seeded anger, such as “Words I’ll Never Say” and “I Don’t Wanna Care Right Now.”

Additionally, the album features songs like “Beautiful Lasers” that express triumph and contentment.

Although many of Rider’s undergraduates may not be familiar with Fiasco’s music, they look forward to his upcoming concert regardless.

“I like the hip-hop genre and hope he’ll be better than Jason Derulo,” junior Rochelle Cohen said.

It seems that she was not the only one unimpressed with Derulo’s performance last year.

“Jason Derulo just repeated a lot of his songs in different styles, like acoustic, and then sung them with a faster tempo,” junior Tina Forsythe said.

Sophomore Jillian Spratt loves Fiasco’s Lasers album and cannot wait for Nov. 18. She is also unfazed by the fact that yet another hip hop artist has been chosen instead of someone from another genre.

“I don’t really mind at all,” Spratt said. “I keep hearing a lot of people are really annoyed but I’m fine with it. Maybe next year they’ll switch it up.”

It is obvious that many people are excited to see a big name artist and are impressed with Lasers.  Tickets are still available on the Westminster campus. Fiasco is sure to rock the stage and keep the audience on its toes.


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